A Jewish Cricketer From Pakistan

An Introduction of the book:

A Jewish Cricketer from Pakistan – Autobiography of Isaac Solson (Soloman)

By Menin Rodrigues (Excerpts from the book)

TORONTO: 6 July 2021 – Isaac Soloman (as he was known then) was born to Jewish parents in 1949 in Karachi, Pakistan. His grandparents came from Pune in Maharashtra state, India, and had moved to Karachi prior to Partition along with several other Jewish families who were seeking better employment opportunities. 

He writes in his book, “Our community is known as Bene-Israel, which means ‘the Sons of Israel’, and is said to be made up of descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, who settled in India. Since my forefathers lived in Maharashtra, we spoke Marathi, which is still our home language.”

Isaac was a promising cricketer who studied and played for St. Patrick’s College and was coached by the great Jacob Harris – who also coached several Test cricketers like Wallis Mathais, Antao D’Souza, Wasim Bari, Khalid Wazir, and others like Rashid Israr, Feroze Dada, Muzamil Hussain, Zohair Karimi etc. Isaac also played in the Karachi cricket leagues and was selected to play for Karachi in the Ayub Trophy.

He says in the second chapter “I discovered cricket and life in Nazimabad – it is only after we moved here that I have any vivid memories. Until seventh grade, I and two of my older sisters studied at Happy Dale School…as a child I participated in many school plays and shows. Our life was quiet and simple, and my dad and mom used to work for a living.”

Isaac made many life-long friends in Karachi, from his days living in Nazimabad and from his cricket playing days at St. Pat’s College and the city’s top cricket clubs. He remembers his friends and several other people who helped him grow into a fine gentleman, a caring family man and a successful individual, now happily retired and living in the USA. 

His college-mate Feroze Dada FCA, CTA writes from London, “We played cricket from 1969,70 and 71 and parted when I left for London in the summer of 1971. I remember Isaac as a decent and well brought up young man that made a lasting impression on me…”  

The book is a fascinating recount of his years in Karachi, his vibrant community, his and other Jewish families, their religious customs and living a happy and peaceful life in the city before leaving the country in 1971. He moved to Israel, pursued his passion for cricket and represented Israel in the inaugural Cricket World Cup in 1979 and again in 1983. 

His is an endearing story to read, a must for every Karachiite who can recall the peaceful coexistence of communities in the city. 

The BOOK is available on www.amazon.com 

About Amin H. Karim MD

Graduate of Dow Medical College Class of 1977.
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